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Liberating Discernment: Language, Concreteness, and Naming Divine Activity in History

Graduate Department of Religion, Baylor University, 1301 S University Parks Dr, Waco, TX 76706, USA
Religions 2019, 10(10), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100562
Received: 2 September 2019 / Revised: 26 September 2019 / Accepted: 27 September 2019 / Published: 30 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Christian Ethics)
One of the revolutionary insights of early liberation theology was that theological discernment is, above all, a concrete undertaking. Yet this insight is accompanied by a persistent conundrum that arises from the way in which naming God’s activity in history is perceived as collapsing God’s objective distance into contingent affairs. This paper contends that this conundrum results from a constricting account of theological objectivity which is problematically conceived in opposition to concretization and so obstructs an account of liberating discernment. Locating this concern within the (de)colonial history of competing theological readings of the weather, and, in addition, prompted by Alice Crary’s expansion of objectivity in ethical theory, I argue that theological objectivity must not only include but begin with theological languages of the oppressed as its essential point of departure. Recovering the insight of early liberation theologians, this paper contends that theology may speak of God objectively only as it concretely shares in the liberating life and words of the crucified peoples of history. The purpose of this argument is then to envision Christian ethics as language accountable to the apocalyptic activity of the God of the oppressed. View Full-Text
Keywords: liberation theology; ethics; language; the weather; praxis; apocalyptic; discernment; Alice Crary; James Cone; Beatriz Melano Couch liberation theology; ethics; language; the weather; praxis; apocalyptic; discernment; Alice Crary; James Cone; Beatriz Melano Couch
MDPI and ACS Style

Davis, T.B. Liberating Discernment: Language, Concreteness, and Naming Divine Activity in History. Religions 2019, 10, 562.

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